Wen and I were exploring Hamarikyu-Teien garden and went into their oh-so-cute teahouse:
Here’s the view from the other side:
Inside it’s a traditional tea house; just tatami mats on the inside:
They serve exactly one type of tea – green – available hot or cold. I had the hot, Wen had the cold:
For the sake of us foreigners, they provide a set of instructions on how to properly drink the tea. We had fun following it; here’s a synopsis:
- Eat the little cake first. To eat it, place it – and the paper – in your left palm.
- Use the wooden knife to cut it in half or quarter it. Do not eat anything until you’ve cut it.
- Use the knife to spear the halves/quarters and eat each individually.
- Then take the tea bowl in your right hand and place it in your left palm. The design on the bowl should be facing you; make sure that when you place it in your palm it is still facing you.
- Using your right hand, rotate the bowl – in a clockwise direction – through two 90 degree turns so that the patterned part faces away from you
- Rub the lip of the cup with your fingers and then clean it with a handkerchief or tissue paper.
- Drink the tea in three or four sips; there should be no foam left in the bowl